The battle for supremacy in Region 6 girls’ soccer took place at East’s Kernodle’s Hill, and Christina Plank made sure that Bountiful’s presence was felt Tuesday.
Even if it took two overtimes.
Plank found the back of the net off a Sophia Skedros penalty kick with 18 seconds left in double overtime for the game’s lone goal. Plank battled injury and pressure for the game winner in blustery conditions and escalating tension between the girls’ soccer rivals.
“We never gave up,” Plank said. “We fought through even with the slow start. I’m happy that we got through this one.”
The game started methodically, with both teams feeling out each other.
A switch was thrown in the 54th minute.
Passes became more aggressive. Civility was pushed to the side as both teams tried to establish dominance. Hits became harder. Plank knew that she needed to set an example on the field.
“As one of four seniors and the coach’s daughter, I know that I need to be constantly setting the tempo,” Plank said. “We know East plays hard, and we had to strike first.”
Bountiful goalkeeper Charity Cole was an impenetrable wall. She blocked 19 shots on goal through almost 100 minutes of play to collect her fifth shutout this season. Cole, who was unafraid to go into the air to make a stop or charge an opponent, provided the foundation for Bountiful’s win.
“Charity is so solid, nothing gets past her,” Skedros said. “She’s unstoppable, and we can’t do it without her.”
Cole was relieved with the game-winner. She joined her teammates in a dog pile at the opposite end of the field.
“I’m ecstatic and so happy,” Cole said. “I knew we could pull it off in the end if we just kept working together.”